EMF Health-effects Research

SIMS study of the calcium-deprivation step related to epidermal meristem production induced in flax by cold shock or radiation from a GSM telephone.

Tafforeau M, Verdus M-C, Norris V, White G, Demarty M, Thellier M, Ripoll C.

J Trace Microprobe Tech 20(4):611-623, 2002

Exposing seedlings of the flax, Linum usitatissimum L., to a variety of weak environmental stresses plus a 2-day calcium deprivation triggers the common response of production of epidermal meristems in the hypocotyls.

Here, we show that the same response was induced by a 1 min cold shock. Epidemal meristem production was also induced by a single 2-h exposure to radiation emitted at 0.9 GHz at non-thermal levels by a GSM telephone. This flax-based system is therefore well suited to studying the effects of low intensity stimuli, including those of electromagnetic radiation.

To begin to determine the underlying mechanisms, in which calcium is implicated, it is desirable to analyse the changes in ions in the tissues affected. We therefore performed a Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) study of the distribution of the main inorganic cations in the hypocotl of control and calcium-deprived seedlings. This showed decreases in calcium, sodium and potassium and an increase in magnesium that did not alter substantially the overall ratio of divalent to monovalent cations.

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